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19 June 2006 CESIC: a new technology for lightweight and cost effective space instrument structures and mirrors
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Alcatel Alenia Space, #1 in Europe for satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures has been interested in the development of a new material to produce lightweight, stiff, stable and cost-effective structures and mirrors for space instrument. Cesic® from ECM has been selected for its intrinsic properties (high specific modulus, high thermal conductivity, quite low thermal expansion coefficient and high fracture toughness for a ceramic material), added to flexible manufacturing capabilities. Under ESA contract, a flight representative optical bench of Cesic® has been designed, manufactured and tested. The optical bench has been submitted with success to intensive vibration tests up to 80 g on a shaker without problem and was tested down to 30 K showing very high stability. Cesic® is also envisaged for large and lightweight space telescope mirrors. Optical coatings for Cesic® substrates have been developed and qualified for the most stringent optical conditions. To prove the lightweight capability, a large Cesic® mirror D=950 mm with an areal density of less than 25 kg/m2 has been designed, sufficiently strong to withstand launch loads and meet stringent WFE requirements, and then successfully manufactured. Cesic® is also envisaged for large future focal planes holding a large number of detectors assuring high stability thanks to its high thermal conductivity. A full size Cesic® focal plane has been already successfully built and tested. Based on these successful results, Alcatel Alenia Space is now in position to propose for space projects this technology mastered in common with ECM both for mirrors and structures with new innovative concepts thanks to the manufacturing capabilities of this technology.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthias R. Krödel and Christophe Devilliers "CESIC: a new technology for lightweight and cost effective space instrument structures and mirrors", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62652N (19 June 2006);


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